Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why Are Biological Microscopes Needed?

Microscopy is an important aspect of biology. Different kinds of microscopes (and lenses) are used for different purposes. These allow scientists, doctors and students, in the field of biology, to study various biological organisms, microorganisms, unicellular organisms like the amoeba and multicellular organisms like the roundworms, and other such specimens. Without the use of microscopes it would be impossible to discover the world of germs, cells and other species that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Biological microscopes, specifically, are used at schools, universities and hospitals for analysis of biological fluids with the aid of highly powerful and magnified lenses. There are mainly two microscopes of this kind- the highly powered one with compound light and then, there are the low powered microscopes. The former kind is used to see small organisms such as bacteria and parasites while the latter is used to examine/analyze organs that have been removed or dissected insects. These come with digital cameras and other software solutions that would allow one to take pictures of organisms for analysis later on or for inclusion in books, etc.
Pharmacologists and doctors in involved in research and development utilize these microscopes to study bacteria and viruses so that they can come up with possible solutions to eradicate them in the near future (HIV/AIDS are examples of such viruses) by developing vaccines and effective cures that would make it possible to do so. These microscopes enable doctors and scientists to keep us safe from bacteria that could, potentially, wipe us out of the fact of the earth. The influenza virus is an example of such viruses. Doctors and cytogenetic engineers use these microscopes to study chromosomes and the relationship between chromosomes, and diseases that affect human beings and animals, along with the role that chromosomes play in human development. Inspection and analyses of chromosomes could help them deal with problems that occur due to abnormal chromosome structures such as Klinefelter syndrome and Down's syndrome. Also, fertility issues can be addressed- because these microscopes are powerful and are equipped with magnifying lenses, doctors can study the sperm cells of sperm donors for future use of their cells so that they can help impregnate women with male partners who may not be able to reproduce. Furthermore, doctors can study the sperm samples of men who cannot reproduce (perhaps due to a low sperm count) and come up with solutions that would enable them to become fathers.
These microscopes have played an important role in the discovery, development and use of embryonic stem cells which can be used to generate tissues and organs by using the cells of organs and tissues donated by users. The discovery of stem cells have also allowed doctors to combat diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases, etc. Hence, had it not been for biological microscopes the benefits of stem cells would not be enjoyed or discovered by doctors and scientists.
However, students, scientists and doctors are not the only ones who use biological microscopes. A number of police departments use these microscopes to investigate material at a crime scene or on a victim's clothes and body. DNA analyses are often carried out in order to get a clue as to who the suspect may be/is. So, these microscopes play an important part in keeping cities and streets safe and free of crimes.
In conclusion, it can be seen that biological microscopes have been vital and have allowed scientists and doctors to make major breakthroughs in the field of science. The usage of such microscopes has helped eradicate a number of diseases and doctors can continue to find possible solutions to a number of diseases that are prevalent in the world of today.

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